Nexus (comics)

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Nexus
Nexus - Nightmare in Blue #4 (October 1997)
Publication information
Publisher Capital Comics
First Comics
Dark Horse Comics
Rude Dude Productions
Format Mini-series
Ongoing series
Genre Science-Fiction
Superhero
Publication date January 1981 - October 1982
1983 - March 1991
Number of issues 100+
Creative team
Writer(s) Mike Baron
Penciller(s) Steve Rude
Collected editions
Volume 1 ISBN 1-59307-398-4

Nexus is an American comic book series created by writer Mike Baron and penciler Steve Rude in 1981. The series is a combination of the superhero and science fiction genres, set 500 years in the future.

Publication history[edit]

The series debuted as a three-issue black-and-white limited series (the third of which featured a 33 RPM flexi disc with music and dialogue from the issue), followed by an eighty-issue ongoing full-color series. The black-and-white issues and the first six color issues were published by Capital Comics; after Capital's demise, First Comics took over publication.

On the creation of the series: Baron noted that they had originally pitched a series called Encyclopaedias to Capital Comics, but the company rejected this, saying they were looking for a superhero title. Over a drink at a restaurant, Baron outlined his ideas for Nexus to Rude.[1]

Nexus was entirely Baron's idea. He even came up with the lightning bolt for the costume. All that we needed then was a name... a few weeks passed. Baron calls, and, without preamble, just says "Nexus." We finally had our name."[1]

In addition to the ongoing series, First reprinted the original miniseries as a graphic novel and later reprinted the first two years of the ongoing title in the Nexus Legends series. The ongoing series was also supplemented by The Next Nexus, a four-issue miniseries that followed Nexus #52. Following the conclusion of the ongoing series with #80 (May 1991), seven miniseries and two one-shot comics were published by Dark Horse Comics. The last of these miniseries was printed in black and white as a cost-cutting measure; low sales led to the series being discontinued. Although each miniseries had its own issue numbering, Baron and Rude added a sequential number to each, as explained in the back of the first issue of Nexus: Executioner's Song:

The current issue number was figured by continuing First Publishing's numbering, which ended at volume 2, #80. Adding Nexus: The Origin, Nexus: Alien Justice #1-3, and Nexus: The Wages of Sin #1-4 brings it up to 88 — making "Dark Side of the Moon" #89.

The sequential numbering system excluded Nexus: Liberator (which neither Rude nor Baron worked on), and crossover specials with Magnus: Robot Fighter and Madman.

Baron and Rude discussed plans to either revive the series or release a movie, possibly in animated form. (A brief animated test clip was shown at comics conventions).[2] From July 2007 through July 2009 they published the miniseries Space Opera, which culminated in a double-size issue #101/102.

The creators' canonical publication list includes 105 issues:

  • Volume 1 (Black and White) - #1 - 3
  • Volume 2 - #1 - 80
  • Nexus: The Origin (#81)
  • Nexus: Alien Justice (#82 - #84)
  • Nexus: Wages of Sin (#85 - #88)
  • Nexus: Executioner's Song (#89 - #92)
  • Nexus: God Con (#93 - #94)
  • Nexus: Nightmare in Blue (#95 - #98)
  • Nexus: Space Opera (#99 - #102)

The series returned to publication in 2012 within the pages of Dark Horse Presents.[3]

  • Dark Horse Presents #12-14, Bad Moon Rising & Infestation
  • Dark Horse Presents #23-26, #29-34 Into the Past

Horatio Hellpop[edit]

The lead character, Horatio Valdemar Hellpop, received his Nexus powers from an alien entity called the Merk. As payment, the Merk required Nexus to seek out and kill a certain quantity of human mass murderers per "cycle". When the Merk selected a target, Nexus would receive strong headaches and maddeningly anguishing dreams (whose extremely intense episodes caused physical injuries to Hellpop's body that emulated the dream violence) of his target's victims until he did his duty. Horatio was reluctant to act as the Merk's tool, but continued seeking out mass murderers to maintain his power and his sanity so that he could defend his homeworld, a lunar refuge of Ylum (a shortening of the word "asylum," thus pronounced "eye-lum").

Horatio's father, Theodore, was a communist general and ruler of the planet Vradic. A religious uprising led by his brother-in-law threatened to overthrow the Sov government, which he had been ordered to uphold "at all costs." General Hellpop chose to detonate a bomb and destroy the planet, killing ten million people, then piloted an escape capsule with himself and his wife into a black hole. Surprisingly, it was a wormhole, which ejected them near Ylum, where Horatio was born.

As Horatio grew up, the Merk first influenced him through apparently imaginary friends named Alph and Beta. However, when Horatio's mother died (becoming lost in the tunnels of the planet), Horatio blamed them for her death and killed them in the first use of his power. Shortly afterward, Horatio began to dream about his father's crimes, causing himself inescapable torment. In this agony, Alph and Beta mysteriously appeared to reveal the duties of Nexus necessary to end the ordeal: the execution of his own father. With considerable personal agony (and unaware that his father was already on the verge of suicide), Horatio carried out the execution.

Left alone for two years, Horatio began to dream of the murderous oppressors of the Thunes, led by the Manager, and set out to deal with them in costume as Nexus for the first time. After the execution was carried out, Nexus agreed to take the Thune prisoners to Ylum to protect them from reprisals. Ylum thus became an asylum world, with the Thune prisoner, Dave, becoming both senior manager and Horatio's closest confidant.

Nexus would often find himself in the painful position of assassinating someone who had repented their former days of infamy, and desired only to be left alone with their guilt. Several of his targets were completely ignorant that their shortsighted actions had inadvertently caused the deaths of others. Fortunately, at least one such target was allowed to commit suicide when confronted by Nexus (death by suicide was punishment enough to the killer to end Nexus's relevant dreams). For the most part, however, his targets were unrepentant murderers, a number of whom had enslaved or otherwise exploited their victims before causing their deaths, thus allowing Nexus to execute them with a clear conscience.

Stylistic influence[edit]

Both Baron and Rude paid homage to Space Ghost in their work on Nexus, including use of the battle cry "This calls for hyperspeed!" and including Space Ghost characters Jan, Jayce, and Blip in several uncredited background cameos. Rude was later hired to create a Space Ghost comic for Comico with writer Mark Evanier.

Steve Rude cited a number of influences on his clean, distinctive style, including Space Ghost character designs and other work by Alex Toth, and commercial illustrators of the 1940s and 1950s, particularly Andrew Loomis.

Baron's Nexus stories responded to the world he was writing in, with competing merchants overwhelming media channels (and telepathy) with advertising. A great computerized library, perhaps presaging the Internet, controlled the universe's memory of history. However, some of his early 1980s references have become outdated, such as the menacing Sov empire.

Fusionkasting[edit]

The superpower of the Nexus universe, fusionkasting, psionically draws energy from the cores of stars (or other large sources on rare occasions). Many innate fusionkasters (the Merk and the Heads) can bestow their potential upon other individuals. This transference is said to fade over distance, but fusionkasters have been shown to be hundreds of light years from their sources with little decline in power. However, the link apparently cannot cross into other dimensions.

Most fusionkasters possess the abilities of flight, energy-beam projection that can be directionally controlled as desired, and force field creation (which can provide invulnerability to sufficiently powerful wielders). Super strength, telekinesis, and various degrees of telepathy are also common. Only Nexus and Plexus have demonstrated a substantially wider range of applications, including energy absorption, matter creation, transmutation, and teleportation.

The Nexus Universe[edit]

  • The Merk are a race of titan-like First Ones who established an interstellar civilization thousands or millions of years ago, and created the role of Nexus. Many (or all) Merk possessed powerful fusionkasting. Most of them have departed our galaxy to points unknown; the few who remain (including Ylum's eponymous Merk) may or may not be typical of their race.
  • Drizripool is the "original" Merk, the Ylum's eponymous Merk. Left in a slumbering state in Ylum's core, he made contact with Horatio, seemingly creating Alph and Beta from his subconscious mind, to teach and guide him the ways of the Merk, and granting humanity someone able to uphold the ideals of justice common to the Merk. Aside from bestowing his powers to Horatio and, later, to other selected individuals, Drizripool is responsible for keeping Ylum orbit stable and replenishing the healing tank used by Nexus, using a special fluid, who he calls The blood of Merk. Drizripool is also partly insane, his insanity growing with the distance from the Merk continuum.
  • GQ, first foreshadowed in dialogues, is the second Merk of Ylum. Originally sent to bring Drizripool back to their people because of his insanity, he elects to stay behind, allowing Ylum and the Nexus to continue their roles in the universe. Despite being saner and more levelheaded than Drizripool, GQ is less powerful than his predecessor, who he calls "gifted", being able to feed Nexus only with the 20% of the energy Drizripool was able to grant him. Also, GQ confesses to Sundra that someday he may fall prey to the same insanity affecting Drizripool.
  • Kimbo is a third Merk, apparently stationed on Earth, where he recruited Plexus to his cause. While Drizripool and GQ tasked their Nexus to find and kill criminals, Kimbo believes in rehabilitation and forgiveness, asking Plexus to bring the criminals to him for rehab. Noticeably, GQ and Kimbo refuse to acknowledge each other's existence, each believing the other an Insane superego of the Merk left behind by our people.
  • Ylum is Horatio's home, a moon in a distant stellar system with a burgeoning population of immigrants. It has a substantial network of underground tunnels and Merk ruins.
  • The Cohesive Web is the largest human government, some form of federation or republic with its capital on Earth. Many of the Web's agencies have used unethical means in their efforts to obtain new energy sources.
  • Thunes are an intelligent ape-like race. The Thunes were formerly enslaved by a human dictator called The Manager, who became the target of Horatio's first public execution.
  • Quatros are a brutal cyclopean race named for their four arms. They are superhumanly strong and quick. Very few Quatros are sufficiently civilized to live amongst other beings without bloodshed. Quartos are exceptionally large in stature compared to humans.
  • Heads are decapitated sentients who gained limited telekinetic powers in the process. Slavers and unscrupulous governments have created perhaps millions of Heads for use as energy generators. Individual Heads are somewhat more powerful than most humanoid races, and tens of thousands of Heads linked together (voluntarily or otherwise) can reach power levels comparable to Nexus. Many heads have cloned hands from their tissue samples to use in their new lives, and others make use of mechanical bodies or vehicles. Some heads who immigrated to Ylum were able to open Kreed's vault, an act that is impossible for anyone who does not have four arms.
  • Headworld is Ylum's formerly uninhabited twin, now home to the many Heads who have been freed by Nexus or Judah. It contains ruins almost identical to Ylum, but in a greater state of disrepair. The multi-facet skills of the Heads make them highly sought after for all types of contract work.
  • The Sov empire is an oppressive communist regime based on the Brezhnev-era Soviet Union.
  • The Gucci (etymology unknown but probably related to Gucci fashion) are a multiracial organization of assassins for hire with a strict code of conduct. Their homeworld Acacia has a space elevator and a damping field which blocks all forms of power, including fusionkasting. When Guccis return to Acacia to tell of their accomplishments, the vendettas between individuals that are settled result in a large body count. All Guccis are sworn to kill anyone who interferes with the operation of the elevator.
  • Alvinites are followers of a popular religion with rituals similar to those of mainstream Christianity. However, Alvinite tenets are left unspecified in the story.
  • Elvonics are followers a neo-luddite religion which is not averse to stealing other people's technology for use in their holy missions. Alvin and Elvon were separate individuals who arose nearly simultaneously; each church believes that the other impugns its good name.

Supporting characters[edit]

  • Dave is a wise elderly Thune who convinced Nexus to open Ylum as a haven for political refugees.Dave has been a mentor to Nexus and his son Judah (to a lesser extent), and a confidant to Tyrone in his duties as President of Ylum. Dave convinced Tyrone that Ylum's policies toward refugees needed to be altered after the Elvonics led by Nexus' uncle, Brother Lathe, raided the armory and stole powerful weapons built for Ylum's defense by the Heads in their attempt to destroy the Gravity Well. Dave is on the Gucci's Preferred Survivor List, which means that any Gucci who carries out a mission to kill Dave would be an outcast and targeted for death. Dave has a library card from the Great Library of Alexandria. Dave is also a friend, confidant and mentor to Sundra and Jil.
  • Judah Maccabee, alias The Hammer of God, is Dave's brash son, a skilled martial artist and freelance adjudicator. Judah is Horatio's best friend and frequent companion on Horatio's missions. He receives fusionkasting from a group of Heads in exchange for his services, and has an indestructible sword which absorbs energy and amplifies his power. Judah lived briefly as a Head when he went after Clausius, prompting Horatio to rescue him after Judah's headless body was returned to Ylum once Clausius brought Judah's head online in one of his ships. This incident led to Nexus and Judah liberating the Heads and Judah's friendship and subsequent partership with the Heads. Judah often ignores Dave's sound advice with regret after his ideas sometimes backfire. Judah was the first combatant to defeat the Gucci trained Quarto Kreed in battle, an epic bloodbath in which Judah had to resort to using weapons against the superior hand-to-hand fighter Kreed quickly proved he was. Judah took up arms to even the odds and cut off two of Kreed's hands. Even though Nexus regenerated the hands for him, Kreed harbored a grudge for The Hammer over the incident for years.
  • Sundra Peale was a human spy from Mars who became Horatio's lover. Their relationship has been complicated and has endured numerous hardships, including Horatio's frequent bouts of depression and Ursala's second seduction of Horatio when Ursala brought Scarlett and Sheena to Ylum to meet their father for the first time. Sundra tried to kill an increasingly irrational Stanisiaus (Stan) Korivitsky, who began choosing his own targets to eliminate as a result of Drizripool cutting him off from the fusionkasting power and his growing appetite to kill. Stan was taking out innocents along with those on the Merk's list. Ylum suffered from its association with the Nexus franchise after the Loomis Sisters tenure and Stan's recklessness, so Sundra sought to deal with the matter. Sundra received the rare treat of fusionkasting from GQ and assisted Horatio in tracking down the last of Drizripool's appointed Nexus assassins, a group of murderers that Drizripool would have commissioned Horatio to execute before he went insane. Sundra saved Ursala's life when she stopped the Drizripool appointed Elizabeth Borden from killing Ursala at Michana Loomis' request. Sundra has a library card from the Great Library of Alexandria and was asked to become the institution's Head Librarian. Sundra and Horatio have a son, Harry, and they live together as a family. Sundra remains by Horatio's side through thick and thin and continues to inspire him.
  • Ursula XX Imada was a high official in the Cohesive Web and the master spy who commanded Sundra. Ursala later became the ruler of Procyon. She is skilled in many fields of study and possesses partial mind control effective on most males. She seduced Horatio and secretly bore his twin daughters, Sheena and Scarlett, who are unskilled but powerful innate fusionkasters. Ursala has made several trips to Ylum undetected, but on one occasion, she was discovered by Sundra at the excavation site left by Drizripool. Ursala correctly deducted that Horatio's abilities could be passed on to their offspring after concluding that his power wasn't technology based. Horatio has contemplated executing Ursala on occasion, primarily because of her association with the Gravity Well and President Oglethorpe, but ultimately decided against it because she is the mother of his twins, a move Ursala may have orchestrated to ensure her survival when she seduced him. Ursala still has genuine feelings for Horatio, as evidenced by a return trip to Ylum with the daughters Horatio didn't even know he had and using the girls as pawns to toy with him, keeping them away from him, acts of a scorned woman. At the God Con, a demon conjured an image of Ursala ruling the galaxy at Horatio's side with him wearing the uniform of General Hellpop with the Nexus lighting emblems.
  • Sheena and Scarlett are Nexus' identical twin daughters and powerful fusionkasters in their own right. Ursala begrudgingly tasked Judah The Hammer in training the twins in using their abilities on the advice of the Hammer's friend LaDonna, but was convinced by Big Nurse that his intentions were for the overall good of the girls. Judah's services were later dismissed by Ursala during a disagreement between the two when she realized the full extent of the friendship between Horatio and Judah. Scarlett and Sheena have proven to be very loyal to their father despite Ursala's objections, and disobeyed her orders not to leave Procyon when the Loomis sisters were on the verge of executing Horatio. They defeated the Loomis sisters in a duel of fusionkasting powers and they continue to follow every news lead of their father and see him when the opportunity presents itself.
  • Clausius is a dastardly slaver who commanded hundreds of thousands of beheadings. Nexus has battled him several times, although as a non-human he is not subject to the Merk's bane. The Heads beheaded Clausius and made him into one of them, a fitting justice for one who brought so much misery upon sentients of many races and giving them a common cause to unite.
  • Jacques Bravo, alias The Anvil, a rotund wrestler and poetaster who appears sporadically as a foil to Judah.
  • Christian is a lion humanoid mercenary who is good friends with Judah. They often collabarate on missions.
  • Brother Lathe is Horatio's uncle and a high-ranking priest of Elvon. Lathe has caused great trouble for Horatio, who is loathe to harm his only living relative. During a visit to Ylum, Lathe was arrested after he attempted to breech Kreed's armory, bribe law enforcement officers and recruit refugees into his group of Elvonics. After promising Horatio he would abide by the local laws, Lathe and his followers stole a Head commissioned spacecraft, the Devilfish, from Ylum while Horatio was visiting the Great Library of Alexandria with Dave. He proceeded to the Gravity Well where the Space Station Stacy, named after General Loomis' oldest daughter, was positioned to siphon energy for the Web. Nexus stopped Brother Lathe from destroying the station. Stanisiaus (Stan) Korivitsky, a Drizripool appointed Nexus after the Loomis sisters, later beheaded Brother Lathe after an encounter against the Elvonics.
  • Kreed was a Quatro Gucci assassin who pledged alliance to Nexus after aimlessly wondering and killing without purpose, believing Horatio's cause to be just and noble. Standing over eight feet tall, Kreed was an extremely skilled fighter who even Judah The Hammer acknowledged couldn't be beaten in conventional hand-to-hand combat with his four arms. Kreed had an extensive collection of weapons he maintained in an armory he built on Ylum that also housed Horatio's tank and living quarters. Kreed only allowed select members of Horatio's inner circle access to the vault and guarded the entrance against anyone who had intention of invading Horatio's privacy. Nexus provided Kreed and Sinclair a list of murderers selected by Drizripool to assassinate against the advice of Judah. The two Quatros went on a killing frenzy on Mars, contracting the killing disease and taking out thousands of innocent targets along with the condemned on Nexus' list. Their murderous rampage made them the most wanted bounty in the Web. Kreed felt great shame at his and Sinclair's actions, which included eating some of the victims, and received extensive counseling from Dave afterward. He later surrendered to Mars authorities after a confrontation with two Gucci assassins he killed made him realize that Nexus would never be accepted by the Web as long as he was free. Martian authorities scheduled Kreed's execution and only allowed select visitors like Sundra and Dave to see him. After Nexus saved the Web from sinking into the Gravity Well artificial black hole, he was able to use the goodwill from his heroic actions to negoiate Kreed's release. But Kreed committed ritual suicide before Nexus could stop him. At the reading of Kreed's will, his armory his given to Ylum and later used by Tyrone for its defense. While Kreed's death helped to put the Mars incident behind Nexus and Ylum, it also led to Horatio temporarily abandoning his duties as Nexus.
  • Sinclair is a Quatro Gucci assassin who pledged allegiance to Nexus after meeting Kreed. Like Kreed, Sinclair is a master of all forms of combat and was undefeated in battle until he and Kreed were stopped by Nexus and Judah on their murderous rampage on Mars upon contracting the killing disease. Sinclair's size is very close to that of Kreed, over eight tall in height, but he is heavier, and without the muscle definition of Kreed. After receiving counseling from Dave, Sinclair disappeared after the Mars incident and resurfaced after Kreed's death when he decapitated a clone that Nexus made from Kreed's detached arm left in the armory after Kreed's encounter with the Gucci assassions Roberta and Duncan. The clone was on the verge of ending Horatio's life when Sinclair intervened and saved Horatio. Sinclair easily defeated the Nexus appointed Stanisiaus Korivitsky who tried to execute an employer of Sinclair's without fusionkasting power that Drizripool stripped him of, but nevertheless, he attempted to carry out the execution. Sinclair later did not interfere with Horatio's execution of his employer, as he remembered his pledge to Horatio.
  • Mezzrow is a young alien who came to Ylum as a refugee and later started a band of intergalaxy renoun. Mezz, as he is called, is a friend of Horatio and Sundra. When Mezz was younger, he witnessed an incident that put his life in jeopardy, but Jil came to his aid and soundly whipped the would be assailant. Jil later became one of Mezz's biggest fans.
  • Jaxon is an adolescent Quarto who is a member of Mezzrow's band. He is also a frequent companion of Kreed and Sinclair, often playing with as a Quartos three piece ensemble, which once prompted Swerdlow to attempt to have them arrested. Jaxon was able to approach Kreed and deactivate his force field so Dave could administer the antidote for the killing disease during the Mars incident.
  • Tony is a young man of African descent who is a member is Mezzrow's band. He was a young refugee like Mezz and Jaxon. Tony has gathered vital intelligence for Horatio and Sundra from time to time by blending into crowds and spotting potential threats.
  • Mary is a young woman from the Sov Empire who came to Ylum as a refugee and sought out Nexus to rescue her uncle, a famous poet and progressive who was jailed for being outspoken. Marked by the refugee gangs as fresh off the boat, Tony and Jaxon saved Mary from being taken advantage of, and Kreed saved her when the gang members reliated by trying to rape and possibly kill her. Kreed then took Mary to meet Nexus, and he made the trip to the Sov Empire to free her uncle, who decided to remain a political prisoner. Mary was given full citizenship to Ylum and later became a member of Mezz's band.
  • Plexus is a brown-skinned anti-Nexus from Nexus: Executioner's Song #3. He is also a fusionkaster and has his own Merk sponsor, Kimbo. He represents mercy and rehabilitation.
  • Clonezone is a comedian Lizigator who claims to have killed with a joke. He is a friend of Horatio and Judah.
  • Tyrone is the President of Ylum. An early member of Horatio's refugees, Tyrone's diplomatic skills have has taken him to the highest elected office of Ylum, but he has a penchant for ruthlessly violent methods despite Horatio's disapproval. Despite this, Tyrone has convinced Horatio time and time again that the use of deadly force is sometimes necessary to put down those would harm innocent citizens without provocation. Tyrone has also convinced Horatio that he can't be everywhere and that Ylum needs a true operating government to maintain the peace with law and order. Tyrone led the raid of Kreed's armory and using his arsenal in the defense of Ylum when it was under attack. Dave serves as a confidant, chess rival and sparring partner of Tyrone. The two often have philosophical differences about how to best serve the Ylum community and bicker over the most trivial matters sometimes, but they are very good friends.
  • Raul is the Head Head, so to speak. He is the leader of the Heads who migrated to Ylum's twin, which became Headworld, after Nexus and Judah liberated hundreds of thousands of heads in the servitude of Clausius.
  • Claude is Vice-President of Ylum. Like Tyrone, he was one of the first refugees. Claude is detailed oriented almost to the point of being neurotic, but his intentions are good. Claude believes in non-violent means, in stark contrast to Tyrone's willingness to use violence to achieve certain goals. Kreed had to save Claude from being killed once because of his pacifist ways. Claude is a valuable asset to Tyrone but often believes that Tyrone doesn't take him seriously. Claude was instrumental in negoiating peace talks with the Heads through Lance.
  • Lance is a high ranking Head official who was instrumental in brokering important diplomatic ties with Ylum. He and Ylum's Vice President Claude were able to get important work done despite the public postering of Tyrone and Raul, who couldn't agree to meet each other as the Leader of their respective planets.
  • Mario is Ylum's Provost Marshal. An expert pilot and a member of Horatio's inner circle, Mario's appearance is that of a anthropomorphic rabbit.
  • Clyde was a General and trusted ally of Kreed who occasionally carried out the security detail for Kreed's armory. Kreed and Clyde formulated a defense for Ylum that would not require the assistance of Nexus. Swerdlow's manipulations allowed the Gucci assassins Roberta and Duncan access to the armory so they could set a trap for Kreed. The two Guccis killed Clyde while he was guarding the vault.
  • Swerdlow was Secretary of State on Ylum. Swerdlow was suspicious of Nexus and outright distrusting of Kreed, Judah and even Dave, to Tyrone's disapproval. The President often checked Swerdlow for his ingratitude towards Ylum's greatest heroes and most beloved citizens. Swerdow was not included in Horatio's inner circle and denied access to Kreed's vault, Horatio's quarters and any knowledge of Nexus' activities, which infuriated him. Swerdlow used any information he could gather to interfere with Nexus' agenda and once alerted Ursala of Nexus making a trip to Procyon to see his daughters. Ursala's military and personal security detail were unsuccessful in stopping Horatio and Judah. Swerdlow's secret deal with Mars officials to take Kreed dead or alive set the events in motion that enabled the Gucci assassins Roberta and Duncan to make their way into Kreed's armory and attack him. Swerdlow did have some redeeming qualities in his job as Secretary of State, he once arrested Horatio's Uncle, Brother Lathe, during a visit to Ylum for numerous offenses, much to Horatio's embarrassment after Dave and Tyrone explained the nature of Lathe's activities. But it wasn't beneath Swerdlow to have potential political opponents and those he dislikes killed, evidenced by the Gucci's killing Clyde when they raided Kreed's armory and the assassination of the young and upcoming Casper Wineburger. Swerdlow was later arrested for numerous counts of treason and placed into prison. But Zeiffer Meird arranged Swerdlow's prison break, which revealed Swerdlow's desire to assassinate Tyrone and rule Ylum.
  • Duke is an informant for Ylum's politicians, literally "a little birdie told me" in his role to gather information incognito. Duke has no particular loyalty to anyone, and those who get information from him often find themselves on the receiving end of his eavesdropping on their conversations. Horatio's inner circle have learned to keep quiet when Duke is hovering about. Swerdlow once repaid Duke's tattling about Nexus' unannounced trip to Procyon to see his daughters by moving Duke's family to the front of the list of refugees looking to immigrate to Ylum.
  • Honest Crocus is a small, flying robot merchant. Nexus first encounters Crocus in the bowl-shaped world where he meets the Badger. Later Crocus comes to Ylum and becomes a prominent resident and merchant, much to the annoyance of his largest competitor, Vooper, who was the pre-eminent merchant on Ylum before Honest Crocus. Crocus' penchant for haggling and making deals have gotten him into much trouble, and he has crossed boundaries even the Heads wouldn't dare to try, such as planting spy equipment among the Elvonics. Crocus will often offer to include a free dinette set with trades.
  • Vooper is a rival merchant and competitor of Honest Crocus. Before Honest Crocus, Vooper had few rivals on Ylum who could compete with him. Vooper wears a hat similar to The Cat In The Hat of Dr. Seuss fame and was later drawn to resemble Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot. Vooper acknowledges his limits and doesn't bother to hide his nature. He is a salesman, a peddler of goods, nothing more or less. No one can pull one over on Vooper. He once scooped Honest Crocus when Crocus obtained a secret list of Nexus' scheduled assassination during Stan Korivitsky's watch on the job and placed bets in Vooper's casinos. When an depowered Stan had to alter his plans and executed his targets from the original order, Crocus lost an incredible amount of capital, much to Vooper's delight. The verbal exchanges between Vooper and Honest Crocus serve as comic foil in the Nexus series.
  • General Loomis was the Chief Architect of the Gravity Well and the orbiting city station Stacy (named after his eldest daughter), which was his base of operation. The General was unaware the deaths caused by the unstable nature of the project to spawn an artificial Black Hole and showed great remorse over the collateral damage of his actions when confronted by Nexus. Horatio actually shook hands with General Loomis and carried out his execution in a painless, humane manner. General Loomis' death became one of Horatio's deepest regrets, not only because the general was a good, honorable and decent man, but because of the profound negative effective it had on his three daughters, bringing an abrupt end to their innocence and turning them into sociopathic murderers in the cases of Stacy and Michana. The general's death led his daughters to seek revenge against Horatio by seeking out Drizripool to designate them as Horatio's successors after he abandoned his duties.
  • Stacy, Lonnie and Michana Loomis are the three daughters of General Loomis who sought revenge against Nexus after he executed their father. Their first confrontation with Horatio reduced him to tears soon after Lonnie spit in his face for apologizing about the assassination. They specifically sought out the Merk (Drizripool) to be Horatio's successors in order to exact revenge against Horatio despite knowing that Drizripool directed Horatio to kill General Loomis in the first place. After carrying out a series of executions for Drizripool, he allowed them to dream of executing Horatio for all the executions he carried out on Drizripool's behalf. Lonnie, the middle daughter, abandoned the cause, realizing Drizripool's insanity. Horatio's twin daughters, Scarlett and Sheena, arrived before the Loomis sisters could execute Horatio and defeated them in fusionkasting combat, apparently killing Stacy and dissipating Michana to atoms. Michana's will to survive allowed her to reconstitute her physical body and she soon became a pawn of Ursala, carrying out a series of executions until Ursala berated her for failing to take out one particular target. After leaving Ursala, Michana committed a series of offenses and became a juvenile delinquent. Lonnie took custody of Michana and the two sisters live together now, putting the past behind them.
  • Stanisiaus (Stan) Korivitsky was the man designated by Drizripool as the next Nexus after the Loomis sisters. Stan proved very adept in his duties as Nexus and with his Gucci training, he could carry out most missions without fusionkasting abilities, which he often he had to because of Drizripool's erratic state of mind. Stan made a deal with rogue Heads, the Bad Brains, to sponsor him after a prolonged period of going without fusionkasting power. Stan ultimately discovered that he enjoyed killing and began selecting his own targets, which put him on Drizripool's radar as a mass murderer and led to Horatio reassuming his role as Nexus. Stan and Horatio then met in a fusionkasting duel in which Horatio killed Stan.
  • Jil is a feline humanoid who is Sundra's business partner and best friend. Jil is openly bi-sexual and it has been implied that she and Sundra had a sexual encounter on at least one occasion. Jil is also an experienced attorney who represented Sundra in a trial that Ursala staged to accuse Sundra of treason. Jil commandeered Horatio's ship when he was in a dream state in his tank to make the journey where the trial was held. Horatio was left with no choice but to accept a ride with Ursala on her ship to the trial, upon which Ursala seduced Horatio along the way. Jil was later killed by Ursala when babysitting Horatio and Sundra's son, Harry.
  • Roberta was a Gucci assassin who Nexus first saw during a trip to the Gucci homeworld Acacia with Kreed and Sinclair during the time when Guccis return to tell of their accomplishments. Roberta bragged about penetrating Ylum and killing designated targets, angering Horatio. But Roberta's confession was her right and no one could take action against her on the Gucci homeworld. Roberta was later contracted along with Duncan to bring in Kreed and Sinclair for the incident on Mars. Roberta wanted to kill Kreed while Duncan wanted to bring him in alive. Before Kreed ended her life, Roberta warned Kreed that Nexus would never be accepted in the Web as long as Kreed lived, which prompted Kreed to surrender to Mars authorities.
  • Duncan was a Thune Gucci trained assassin who once encountered Judah at a bridge crossing and the two sized each other up, resulting in Duncan attempting to take the Hammer out. Like Kreed, Duncan lost his way and killed aimlessly, abandoning the Gucci cause until Judah advised him to go to Ylum. He was later contracted along with Roberta to bring in Kreed after the Mars incident. Duncan passed up an opportunity to kill Kreed and seriously wounded him during the encounter, drawing blood and nearly severing one of Kreed's arms. Kreed cut his arm the rest of the way off and decapitated Duncan during the two Gucci assassins dogged pursuit of him.
  • Big Nurse is the caretaker of Sheena and Scarlett. Big Nurse is also Ursala's most trusted aide who plans Ursala's itineraries. She watches over the twins very carefully, and knows where they are at all times, to their dismay. Big Nurse anticipates Ursala's plans and makes her preparations before receiving orders from Ursala, implying that she may possess telepathic abilities. Sheena and Scarlett suspect that Big Nurse has spied on them using surveillance equipment in order to keep tabs on them.
  • Dr. Xyp was a doctor Horatio once turned to when his dreams overwhelmed him with guilt. Horatio seriously considered allowing Dr. Xyp to perform a controversial brain surgical procedure to help him forget the dreams and sleep without torment to the strong objections of Sundra and Dave. But Mr. Xyp was also a mass murderer who infamously experimented on children, unknown to Horatio. Horatio never dreamed about Dr. Xyp's crimes, possibly because he was only part human, but Drizripool allowed the Loomis sisters to dream of the doctor's activities and commissioned them to carry out his execution, which they did.
  • General Theodore Hellpop was Nexus' father. General Hellpop was ordered by his superiors to destroy Vradic with nuclear weapons, which he begrudgingly carried out. General Hellpop was Horatio's first victim after Horatio dreamed of the millions killed as a result of his father's actions. Horatio's physical appearance is virtually identical to that of General Hellpop, which, along with his library card from the Great Library of Alexandria, has allowed him access to the Sov Empire from time to time in the disguise of a military officer, usually as General Hellpop's son. General Hellpop is often referenced throughout the series because of Horatio's love for him and the effect his destruction of Vradic had in the Web.

Collected editions[edit]

Dark Horse Comics Hardcover archive editions

Rude Dude Productions

Dark Horse Comics Softcover omnibus editions

Awards[edit]

The series won a total of six Eisner Awards. In 1988, the series won an award for Best Artist/Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team. 1993's Nexus: Origin won awards for Best Single Issue/Single Story, Best Writer/Artist, and Best Artist/Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team. In 1997, Nexus: Executioner's Song won Best Artist/Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team. In 2008, Todd Klein won Best Letterer/Lettering for his work on Nexus.

Crossovers[edit]

The Nexus series produced several crossover issues, featuring characters from several other First series, including American Flagg!, Grimjack, Jon Sable: Freelance, Badger, Whisper and Dreadstar. An example of Nexus crossover issues is the series Crossroads, published in 1988. Following the switch in publishers from First to Dark Horse, Nexus crossed over with Madman (Nexus Meets Madman) and Magnus Robot Fighter (Magnus Robot Fighter/Nexus).

Adaptations[edit]

A 2-minute promo for an animated series was made in 2004.[4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Baker, Bill (w). The History of Nexus 100 (January 2008), Rude Dude Productions
  2. ^ [1] Steve Rude Executes Animated Nexus
  3. ^ [2] BARON AND RUDE RETURN TO "NEXUS" IN "DARK HORSE PRESENTS"
  4. ^ Nexus: The Animated Series Promo (Video 2004) - IMDb

References[edit]

  • Nexus at the Comic Book DB

External links[edit]